Using a systems orientation and foundational theory to enhance theory-driven human service program evaluations
This paper offers a framework for using a systems orientation and "foundational theory" to enhance theory-driven evaluations and logic models. The framework guides the process of identifying and explaining operative relationships and perspectives within human service program systems. Self-Determination Theory exemplifies how a foundational theory can be used to support the framework in a wide range of program evaluations. Two examples illustrate how applications of the framework have improved the evaluators' abilities to observe and explain program effect. In both exemplars improvements involved addressing and organizing into a single logic model heretofore seemingly disparate evaluation issues regarding valuing (by whose values); the role of organizational and program context; and evaluation anxiety and utilization.
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